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duct of culinary fire, will not think it incredible that virtues of mighty force and extent mould be found in a fine acid soap (a) the falts and oi| whereof are a most elaborate product of nature and the solar light.
74. It is certain tar-water warms, and therefore some may perhaps still think it cannot cool. The more effectually to remove this prejudice, let it be farther considered, that, as on the one hand, opposite causes do sometimes produce the fame effect, for instance, heat by rarefaction and cold by condensation do both increase the air's elasticity: so on the other hand, the fame cause shall sometime produce opposite effects: heat for instance in one degree thins, in another coagulates the blood. It is not therefore strange that tar-water should warm one habit, and cool another, have one good effect on a cold constitution, and another good effect on an inflamed one; nor, if this be so, that it should cure opposite disorders. All which justifies to reason, what I have often found true in fact. The falts, the spirits, the heat of tar-water are of a temperature congenial to the constitution of a man which receives from it a kindly warmth, but no inflaming heat. It was remarkable that two children in my neighbourhood, being in a course of tar-water, upon an intermission of it, never failed to have their issues inflamed h>y an humour much more hot and sharp than at other times. But its great use in the small pox, pleurisies, and severs, is a sufficient proof that tar-water is not of an inflaming nature.
75.1 have dwelt the longer on this head, because some gentlemen of the faculty have thought fit to
declare that tar-water must enflame, and that they would never vifit any patient in a sever, who had been a drinker of it. But I will venture to affirm, that it is" so far from increasing a. severish inflammation,that it is on the contrary a most ready means to allay and extinguish it. It is of admirable use in severs, being at the fame time the surest, fasest and most effectual both paregoric and cordial; for the truth of which, I appeal to any person's experience, who shall take a large draught of it milk warm in the paroxysm of a sever, even when plain water or herb teas shall be found to have little or no effect. To me it seems that it's singular and surprizing use in severs of all kinds, were there nothing else, would be alone sufficient to recommend it to the public.
76. The best physicians make the idea of a sever to consist in a too great velocity of the heart's motion, and too great resistance at the capillaries. Tar-water, as it softens and gently stimulates those nice vessels, helps to propel their contents, and so contributes to remove the latter part of the disorder. And for the former, the irritating acrimony which accelerates the motion of the heart is diluted by watery, corrected by acid, and softened by balfamic remedies, all which intentions are answered by this aqueous acid balfamic medicine. Besides the viscid juice*s coagulated by the sebrile heat are resolved by tar-water as a soap, and not too far resolved, as it is a gentle acid soap; to which we may add, that the peccant humours and falts are carried off by its diaphoretic and diuretic qualities.
77. I found all this confirmed by my own experience in the late sickly season of the year one thousand seven hundred and forty-one, having had
twentytwenty-five severs in my own family cured by thU medicinal water, drunk copiously. The fame method was practised on several of my poor neighbours with equal success. It suddenly calmed the severish anxieties, and seemed every glass to refresh, and insuse lise and spirit into the patient. At first some of those patients had been vomited; but afterwards I found that without vomiting, bleeding, blistering or any other evacuation or medicine whatever, very bad severs could be cured bf the sole drinking of tar-water milk warm, and in good quantity, perhaps a large glass every hour taken in bed. And it was remarkable, that such as were cured by this comfortable cordial, recovered health and spirits at once, while those who had been cured by evacuations often languished long, even aster the sever had left them, before they could recover ot their medicines'and regain their strength.
78. In peripneumonies and pleurisies I have observed tar-water to be excellent, having known some pleuritic persons cured without bleeding, by a blister early applied to the stitch, and the copious drinking of tar-water, four or fh'e quarts, or even more in four and twenty hours. And I do recommend it to farther trial, whether in all cases of a pleurisy, one moderate bleeding, a blister on the spot, and plenty of tepid tar-water may not suffice, without those repeated and immoderate bleedings, the bad effects of which are perhaps never got over. I do even suspect, that a pleuritic patient betaking himself to bed betimes, and drinking very copiously of tar-water, may be cured by that alone without bleeding, blistering, or any other medicine whatever: certainly I have found this succeed at a glass every half hour.
79- I have known a bloody flux of long continuance, after divers medicine had been tried in vain, cured by tar-water. But that which I take to be the most speedy and efsectual remedy in a bloody flux, is a clyster of an ounce of common brown rofin dissolved over a fire in two ounces of oil, and added to a pint of broth, which not long since I had frequent occasion of trying, when that distemper was epidemical. Nor can I fay that any to whom I advised it miscarried. This experiment I was led to make by the opinion I had of tar as a balfamic: and rosin is only tar inspissated.
80. Nothing that I know corroborates the stomach so much as tar-water (a.) Whence it follows, that it must be of singular use to persons afflicted with the gout. And from what I have observed in five or six instances, I do verily believe it the best and fasest medicine either to prevent the gout, or so to strengthen nature against the fit, as to drive it from the vitals. Doctor Sydenham in his treatise of the gout, delares that whoever finds a medicine the most efficacious for strengthening digestion, will do more service in the cure of that and other chronical distempers, than he can even form a notion of. And I leave it to trial, whether tar-water be not that medicine, as I myself am persuaded it is, by all the experiments I could make. But in all trials I wou'd recommend discretion; for instance, a man with the gout in his stomach ought not to drink cold tar-water. This essay leaves room for suture experiment in every part of it, not pretending to be a compleat treatise.
81. It is evident to sense, that blood, urine, and other animal juices, being let to stand, soon
(a) Sect. 68.
contract a great acrimony. Juices, therefore from a bad digestion, retained and stagnating in the body, grow stiarp and putrid. Hence a sermenting heat, the immediate cause of the gout. The curing this by cooling medicines, as they would increase the antecedent cause, must be a vain attempt. On the other hand, spices and spirituous liquors, while they contribute to remove the antecedent cause, or bad digestion, would by inflaming the blood increase the proximate or immediate cause of the gout, to wit, the sermenting heat. The scope therefore must be, to find a medicine that (hall corroborate, but not inflame. Bitter herbs are recommended; but they are weak in comparison of tar-water.
82. The great force of tar-water, to correct the acrimony of the blood, appears in nothing more than in the cure of a gangrene, from an internal cause; which was performed on a servant of my own, by prescribing the copious and constant use of tar-water for a sew weeks. From my representing tar-water as good for so many things, some perhaps may conclude it is good for nothing. But charity obligeth me to fay what I know, and what I think, howsoever it may be taken. Men may censure and object as they please, but J appeal to time and experiment. Efsects misimputed, caseswrong told, circumstances overlooked, perhaps too, prejudices and partialities against truth, may for a time prevail and keep her at the bottom of her well, from whence nevertheless she emergeth sooner or later, and strikes the eyes of all who do not keep them shut.
- 83. Boerhaave thinks a specific may be found, for that peculiar venom, which insects the blood in the small-pox, and that the prospect of so great a public benefit should stir up men to search for it.